You think I’m kidding?

Republican leaders in the legislature have set their schedule for the rest of the year and it only includes 9 actual session days plus an additional ten days when they may, or may not, meet.

July       2 if-needed days
August     0 days
September  5 if-needed days
October    3 if-needed days
November   5 days
December   4 days


That’s 9 days for sure. 10 possible days. 19 total days in session. In six months.

Base salary for lawmakers in the House is $60,584 a year, but most earn more for leadership positions and many state reps get a huge (like 50%!) deduction on their federal taxes.

Did I mentioned they are only scheduled to meet for 19 days in the next 6 months?

Two weeks ago, Speaker Batchelder said Republican state legislators are underpaid:

“I know a lot of people in my caucus who are frankly underpaid,” House Speaker William G. Batchelder said yesterday.

Batchelder personally makes $99,437.40 a year in his current role as Speaker of the House. On top of that, he’s pulling down over $100K/year from his state pension. On top of all THAT, the the Dayton Daily News reports that he, like many other state reps, is likely getting a $34K deduction on his federal taxes. (And state senators get a $54,376 tax deduction!).

All this so Batch can show up in Columbus for 19 days over the next six months. Maybe. If he feels like it.

Quick comparison: The average Ohio police officer put his/her life on the line 40 hours a week, almost EVERY week, for the entire year. They average around $53,680/year. Fire Fighters do the same for $42,350.

Speaker Batchelder makes over $200K, he gets a huge tax deduction AND he’ll be taking the entire month of August off – and maybe July, September and August too.

Batchelder thinks ‘lazy’ police officers and mooching fire fighters are bankrupting the state with their excessive, collectively-bargained benefits.

Batchelder thinks ‘hard working’ legislators are underpaid.

Give me a break.

  • Hey, at least they won’t be stripping workers of rights, disenfranchising minority (former) voters, and pushing women back to the dark ages. 

  • Jen

    If they need something to do this fall, they can come help me get my classroom ready.   Tell them to bring their credit cards, though, because buying supplies, getting ready for students, and decorating the room out of my own pocket isn’t cheap.

  • tvh

    Our legislature is supposed to be part-time (though 19 days in six months is well under part-time). Why exactly do our part-time legislators make more than our full-time firefighters and police?

  • Annekarima

    Why do they qualify for “benefits”?

  • Agreed 

  • Anonymous

    Oh Jen, they’re going to be too busy thinking up ways to attack YOU as underworked and overpaid, and a parasite on the public treasury. Lying and bullshitting take up a lot of time and energy!

  • Anonymous

    Actually, unlike most states, our legislators are lavished with the sorts of salaries associated with normal full-time jobs. In many states legislators make a token or nothing at all. If they consider their jobs “part-time,” they need to define that so we can judge if they are paid accordingly. Meeting nine times in six months when our state is in crisis should qualify them for losing their jobs.

  • Miles

    Um, I’ll gladly pay them not to meet.  The less they convene, the less damage they do.

  • Good, they can cause less trouble if they aren’t writing laws that benefit big biz to our loss.

    “We can’t afford” to have them work against us any more than they already do.

  • Good, they can cause less trouble if they aren’t writing laws that benefit big biz to our loss.

    “We can’t afford” to have them work against us any more than they already do.

  • Chris

    As a former Ohio House staffer for a Democratic member, I find myself seriously disturbed by the blatant disregard for the other work that legislators and their staff do when they are not in session and the need for balance in the job.

    When legislators spend a ton of time in Columbus, their constituents decry how “out of touch” they are from the district.  And when they don’t spend time in Columbus, they are slammed for “not doing their job”.  Last time I checked, we were supposed to promote a balance of these two aspects.  And since many legislators have spent copious amounts of time in Columbus over the past few months, perhaps it’s time to place a larger emphasis on reconnecting with their constituents.  I know that when I worked at the House, the most useful events were town halls and one-on-one constituent meetings which happened in coffee shops and other local events.  It gave my boss (and me) a chance to better understand the districts priorities and these meetings certainly shaped our work.

    And besides, when legislators spend more time at home, they are less protected by Kasich’s shield of lobbyists and metal detectors, so we have easier access to them in our own community.  This can be an excellent time to demand that they hold more public meetings and make sure they know that we haven’t forgotten about everything that just happened.  I don’t care what people say – state representatives DO listen to their constituents when they are loud enough.  I can’t tell you how many times we rebuked donors/lobbyists on votes because of what we heard from constituents.

    And, as a side note, legislators (well, most of them) are working 24/7.  It strains families and friendships and it burns people out quickly. Yes, I think the tax deductions are too much, but I have never found someone who worked so hard to make $60k… I also think staff should make that much! 🙂

    I don’t meant to rant, but I expect better from Plunderbund contributors.  If you’re in need of more information about why I feel this way, just let me know and I’ll get in contact with you.

  • Rpd8128

    Unbelievable! Why are they not giving up their salaries and benefits like they are asking from everyone else?
    Something needs to change and change quick!
    Be nice to know how much each and every one of them make and how often they report to actual work.

  • Anonymous

    To quote a former republican, FREDDY, “Now there you go again!”  Don’t you have some shadowy corner that you are supposed to haunt?  If any of the Gang Of Pirates shows up at the state house on their “days off”, you can bet that they are there to draft legislation to put cash in their pockets, like HB231 authored by the Napoleonic Neanderthal Wachtmann who owns a water bottling company in Henry County.  No surprise here! Let’s see: bottled water – Lake Erie – you do the math. For this we reward them with $60,000+ a year while they beat up on Teachers, Police, Firefighters and other public workers who actually do show up and do the public’s business.

  • There has always been a double standard between our elected officials and the people…once they get into office they forget who they represent!!  This is obviously a part-time job, so the salaries and benefits need some major overhaul!! 

  • As do other public worker positions, I think that is the point.  I am a nurse and can spend countless hours after a shift charting.  Police and firefighters have to spend time in court, teachers spend time grading papers…all of this should be taken into account before they go after us for being parasites on the government’s pocketbook!!  You are missing the point PB is trying to make here!!  What we are seeing is hypocrisy by our elected officials…saying that what they do merits the pay and benefits received, but other public workers do not.  Frankly, that is bulls**t!! 

  • You’re right that the House,  under Budish, had fewer days in session than one would consider typical.

    However, Budish and Democrats never claimed teachers or police officer or fire fighters were over paid – and they never tried to cut public employee benefits and salaries the way Kasich, Batchelder and Niehaus are trying to do with SB5.

    You can’t claim budget shortfalls require cuts to the salary and benefits of every public employee in the state EXCEPT you and your own staff.

    It’s hypocritical and that’s why it needs to be pointed out.  

  • I absolutely understand that a good portion of what legislators do does not involve sitting in session and voting.
    But our legislative leaders absolutely can not claim they deserve a pay raise after they spent the entire year claiming the budget shortfall would required shared sacrifice from everyone ELSE in the state.

    They can not claim they deserve a pay raise after spending the entire year working to implement Senate Bill 5 in order to cut the salary and benefits of every OTHER public employee in the state – employees who teach our children and protect our families every day of the year.

    It’s hypocritical and that’s why it needs to be pointed out.  

  • irishgal

    As an educator, I find myself seriously disturbed by the blatant disregard for the other work that educators, firefighters, police, nurses, etc. do when they are not actually “on the job” so I guess we’re even.

  • can u help? lookn 4 senators n governors health care packages, deductible, etc..n if they pay what i pay which is over the 15percent…everytime i search, go to pull up..states blocked, unauthorized..can u find n post please? anyone? thx

  • Anonymous

    How do they qualify for benefits when Ohio law says 35 hours a week is full time now?  I just don’t get it. 

  • Real Get Real

    Yesterday, when Mike Thompson of COTR mentioned that the SB5 provisions might result in teachers losing their current homes, Bob Clegg was quick to interject with almost gleeful zeal a patronizing “welcome to the real world” as if teachers do not also have spouses who lost jobs, homes underwater or, now, taking pay cuts.   COTR tried to rationalize his comment on their Facebook, but clearly this is along the lines of Bachelder, Kasich and the current GOP administration insisting that there be “shared sacrifice” when what they are really saying is “I’ll take my share, you have to sacrifice”.

  • Real Get Real

    Don’t forget, too, that they get free parking and generous travel allowances EVEN if they live locally.   The travel allowances are very questionable and hard to justify.

  • Real Get Real

    All I get from my legislator is standard eMails and no town hall meetings.  The problem is, I’m not a rich contributor.   Maybe there are good legislators, but you miss the point.  The GOP administration and legislators have been hammering teachers, police, and fire since the last election as over compensated, ineffective, and under worked.   They rail against a teacher starting at $35,000/yr and want to eliminate the pension system while in session only 19 days and themselves collecting a public pension.  When they exclude themselves from SB5 provisions and then also complain they are underpaid, that becomes indefensible.   Sure, it is a challenging job, but they fired the first patronizing salvo by portraying other hard-working Ohioans as somehow lesser workers, lazy, or incompetent.    It was Kasich and Batchelder who decided on a divided, negative, and vindictive strategy for governing rather than a positive, constructive, and inclusive State government.

    No sympathy from me.  

  • to be fair- this is all state legislators not just the republicans- They are not treated as public employees by their own definition- they get 1.35 years of service credit for each year and can buy additional years after only five years of service!  The average legislator puts $25,000 into this system and takes out over $1,000,000!  Ohio legislators need to be treated like the public employees that they are!!

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